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Following International Women’s Day, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has today launched the 2021 Girls In Resources Life Skills (GIRLS) program at an event in Brisbane.

GIRLS, the brainchild of the QRC’s Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) and Women in Mining and Resources in Queensland (WIMARQ), has seen a 116 percent increase in applications from female high school students since it was first launched three years ago.

This year, 20 Year 12 students from QMEA-associated schools across Queensland have been selected to participate.

This year’s mentees will also attend the QRC/WIMARQ International Women’s Day Resources Awards for Women in Brisbane on Wednesday (10 March), which is the industry’s premier annual event to celebrate the contribution of women to the resources sector.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity Katrina-Lee Jones said mentees will meet regularly with individual female mentors from within the resources sector over the next six months to develop networking and time management skills and an insight into the career opportunities available for young people.

“This opportunity would not be possible without the highly valued support our platinum sponsor Glencore Coal, as well as Bravus Mining and Resources, Evolution Mining, South32, Idemitsu and Hastings Deering,” she said.

Guest speaker at today’s QMEA/WIMARQ GIRLS mentoring program launch, Director of Underground Operations for Glencore Coal Assets Australia, Darren Nicholls said mentors provide critical support to mentees during their last year at school to help them make decisions about future study or training options.

 “This program is vital for the future of the resources sector, which is working hard to improve diversity in its workforce,” he said.

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and skills training initiative, QMEA programs and experiences broaden student and teacher knowledge of the resources sector.

The academy’s purpose is to encourage a talent pipeline of employees into VET and STEM-related careers, with a strong focus on female and indigenous student participation. The QMEA engages with 80 schools throughout Queensland and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

The QRC is Queensland’s peak representative body for coal, metal and gas explorers, producers and suppliers across the resources sector. It contributes one in every five dollars to the Queensland economy, sustains one in six Queensland jobs, supports more than 15,000 businesses and contributes to more than 1200 community organisations across the state – all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.

Program sponsor details: Glencore Coal (Platinum), Bravus Mining and Resources (Silver), Evolution Mining (Silver), South32 (Silver), Idemitsu (Flying Start), Hastings Deering (Bronze)

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